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Father Muench Says...

Celebrating the resurrection

April 20, 2022

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Today, I want to begin by sharing with you my personal resurrection experience. You see, shortly before Easter – two weeks before, I came down with a positive test for Covid, so I ended up in isolation for a time. Finally, during Holy Week, I improved. Yes, this was like a resurrection. I was able to celebrate the Masses and services of the Triduum, and I celebrated the resurrection of the Lord to new life on Easter Sunday as I celebrated my own resurrection to new life from sickness. Easter was truly a celebration for me.

Here in this parish, the first Easter morning Mass is a sunrise Mass, celebrated at near 6 a.m. I joined with the other priests and the people rejoicing in the Lord’s resurrection, and this Mass became my Easter also.

So, I want to pass along my Easter greeting to you all. I offered that Mass for all of you and your intentions. I pray that you all experience the joy of new life through the Lord’s resurrection. May you find peace and happiness of this Easter Season.

I find each year the joy and new faith as I read the many resurrection stories of the Lord in the Gospels. These stories bring special support to me and truly strengthen my faith. For me, I truly love the story of the appearance of Jesus to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. You certainly know this story. This story begins on the afternoon of Jesus’ crucifixion. Two disciples were walking home from Jerusalem on the road to Emmaus. I remember hearing a Scripture scholar saying that they were probably a married couple – a husband and wife.

As they were walking along, Jesus himself came upon them. However, they did not realize that this was Jesus. Jesus asks why they were sad. They explain in this story that they had just come from Jerusalem. They were disciples of Jesus of Nazareth. They had hoped that he had come as Messiah and Savior, and they believed that he was to be a great prophet, but now he was crucified by the chief priests and rulers. They were upset and distressed. Then Jesus, who they still do not recognize, speaks to them that the Scriptures teach us that the Messiah would suffer before he enters his glory.

Jesus walks along with them and presents to them a Scripture lesson beginning with Moses and the prophets. He interpreted to them all that referred to him in all the Scriptures. Can you imagine such a Scripture lesson? Wouldn’t you have like to have been there on that walk.

As they come to the village, the couple insisted that Jesus stay for a time with them. Then, later as they were at table, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it and gave it to them. At that moment, their eyes were opened, and they recognized that this was Jesus who was walking with them and talking with them. At that moment, Jesus vanished. The Scripture tells us, that they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?” They rushed back to Jerusalem to tell the others what they had experienced.

I believe that this can be our own experience even now. I believe that more times than we can imagine, the Lord, Jesus, comes along to join with us, to walk with us, to teach us, to open the Scriptures for us. We don’t realize that this is truly Our Lord and Savior who comes to give us guidance and support.

However, when we recognize the gift that has been given to us, we will realize that in a very perfect way that truly this was Jesus who was teaching us and leading us.

Thank you, Lord! I pray that you continue to be part of my life and come often to show me the way.

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